Why do you evaluate sources? Why can't you just use whatever you find on the Internet about a topic? Consider these reasons:
So how do you, just starting out in college, have any hope of figuring out how valid information is? Here's a system to help. It's called CARS and here are the dictionary definitions of each of its components:
Below you can check out how each of these components applies to your research.
When evaluating a source, you want to be able to find out when the information was published or when it was revised. The information should also be based in fact not opinion. Other questions that you might ask include:
If information is objective it will be grounded in facts and logic, not be influenced by feelings or emotion. The opposite of objective information is subjective information. Subjective information is based upon opinion, feelings, and emotion and is often lacking reasonableness.
Reasonableness also refers to information that is fair and balanced. There should not be a conflict of interest and it will lack bias or spin. Questions to ask include:
Seek out sources in the resource that uphold the claims made in the information you are evaluating.